Say, anybody heard from Mitch McConnell today? Yeah, I know, busy bar-b-queing and all that. And while Mitch is out in his backyard, Donald Trump is out in his and guess what’s on the grill? GOP elephant, that’s what’s on the grill. Trump is going to burn it to a crisp and slather ketchup on it.
Trump is well known for breaking the laws of political physics. That’s his stock in trade. And you’re going to see him do it again. You used to hear a lot of talk of a red tsunami. That ended about six weeks ago. At this point, the GOP is hoping to simply regain the House and if it’s with only a few seats, fine. They’ll take it. No more talk of 40+ seats, the price of gas being more important than democracy, none of that is being heard nowadays.
It wasn’t just the gas prices, though, it was the “presidential penalty” or “midterm penalty” that was being factored in, i.e., the law of political physics that says that the party that doesn’t have the White House is favored to retake both chambers of congress or at the very least one.
It’s been conventional wisdom for the past few weeks that the Senate would most likely stay in Democratic hands and more securely so, in fact, due to the awful senatorial candidates Trump has endorsed. It’s also been said that the House could conceivably stay in Democratic hands, although that has been considered a bit of a long shot.
Not after today. All of this political math needs to be recalculated. The simple fact of the matter is, Trump is firmly in the spotlight once again with his Special Master fiasco and there he is going to stay. The midterms are now going to be a referendum on him. CNN:
In other words, the more Trump is on people’s minds, the better Democrats are doing.This, of course, is not what Republicans want. Although Biden has become more popular in the past month (more on that in a second), he’s still not all that popular. Presidents whose approval ratings are south of 45% tend to see their party lose a lot of seats in Congress.Trump, though, is even more unpopular than Biden. His net favorability rating (favorable minus unfavorable) in a Wall Street Journal poll out last week was -19 points — considerably worse than Biden’s -8 points.
And while you might think that negative views of Biden would upstage negative views of Trump given who’s currently president, that may not be the case.Take a recent NBC News poll. When asked whether their vote for Congress was meant to signal support for Biden or Trump, voters were split 44% to 44%. In other words, the former and current President were playing an equal role in people’s votes.What all this means is that Democrats may not lose a lot of seats this time around. Most forecasts for the House have them keeping their losses below 20 seats. They’re favored (if slightly) to hold on to the Senate.It’s an outcome Democrats should be happy to accept, given what normally happens in midterms.